May 25, 2020 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
In 1970, Joni Mitchell lamented in “Big Yellow Taxi,” “No, no, no/Don’t it always seem to go/That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone…” The song served as a red flag; in an instant, what we hold dear could assume the quality of mist and dissipate. The lyrics are apropos to the pandemic of 2020 when a virus- with the name previously only associated with a Mexican beer-sent the world scurrying for cover.
The Angel of the Battlefield
May 24, 2020 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
Since the inception of the pandemic, the Internet has showcased countless posts of health- care workers with super-hero capes draped across their shoulders. As May marks the month Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross, now is an apt time to remember the heroine.
We Shall Not Sleep
May 23, 2020 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” While Ophelia associated rosemary with memory, a 20th century woman used another flower to evoke the echo of yesteryear.
Memorial Day weekend is a holiday that signifies sales at malls, barbecues, and fireworks. Too often overlooked is the somber shadow that led to its creation.
Prologue Still I Rise
Jun 23, 2019 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
Anyone who has managed to survive to mid-mark of the biblically allotted three score years and ten has had occasion to cast one's eyes heavenward to mutter, "Ya know, God, there are other people." Amidst these litanies of woes can be discerned cries of betrayal, illness, lost illusions. After all, part and parcel of living means treading the Boulevard of Broken Dreams, navigating the Canal of a Shattered Romance. What helps ease the thorny path is the belief that we are not alone in our grief, that loss is part of the human condition. Another weapon in the arsenal of endurance is the hope we can rise.
GREAT SECOND ACTS: IN PRAISE OF OLDER WOMEN Prologue: “The Best is Yet to Be”
Jun 16, 2019 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
With the optimism of youth, there is an inherent belief that, in the words of Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, “the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.” However, as the calendar pages turn, our aspirations tend to recede into the distance, placed on the back-burner by financial survival, child-rearing, male maintenance. Then, in a dizzying blur, we gasp at the pigment-free image staring back from the mirror reminding us how quickly time passes. It is essential we do not go gentle into our twilight years. Ladies who experience late in life reinvention are the embodiment of what Antony said about Cleopatra, “Age cannot wither her/Nor custom stale/Her infinite variety.”
Behind Every Great Man
Apr 12, 2019 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
The idea for Behind Every Great Man was the result of serendipity-and it arrived through the unlikely person of former First Lady Laura Bush. In a White House roast, she likened herself to a character from Desperate Housewives. “I am married to the president of the United States and here is our typical evening: nine o’clock, Mr. Excitement here is sound asleep, and I am watching Desperate Housewives. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am a desperate housewife!”
Let’s Hear It for the Girls!
Apr 03, 2019 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
No matter how near we are to our biblically allotted three score years and ten, we always remember our milestone firsts: first kiss, first car, first horizontal episode. Mothers are likewise big on firsts: first word their child spoke, first step, first lost tooth. These events constitute the magical moments, forever tucked away in the tissue paper of the heart.
Women Who Launch
Mar 27, 2019 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
As a 1950s housewife, my mother was “a woman who lunched.” The Mrs. So-and Sos-who went by their spouses’ first and last names- were unable to pursue careers. The mindset of the era was a wife who worked meant her husband was a poor provider; a bank- issued paper bearing the words: PAY TO THE ORDER OF were an attack on his masculinity. Moreover, the little lady’s real job was in the PTA, the kitchen, the bedroom. And so she lunched.